September 17, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner (33) jumps over the pile for a touchdown in the first half against the Denver Broncos at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
Early this morning, Michael Turner was arrested in Gwinnett County for speeding and DUI. This coming only hours after scoring a touchdown for the Falcons early in the game. The running back was released on bond at 7AM.
This is not good news. I don’t think that this is an offense that will necessarily lead to a suspension by the NFL. Maybe he will be held out of a couple games by the Falcons, but who really knows. I have little doubt that he will be fined by the League, the Falcons, or both. That’s not the bigger picture, however.
There is no excuse for people to drink and drive, let alone NFL players. The NFL has a program for players to get a ride to wherever they are going, whenever they want or need one, and wherever in the United States they may be. This program was designed with the intention of preventing drunk driving by constantly having a designated driver available for the players.
The fact that Turner chose not to take advantage of it and decided to drive and also speed which got him caught for the DUI is incredibly selfish. Not just for his family, friends, and teammates, but most importantly for the general public who were put in danger by a drunk driver behind the wheel and out on the road. It’s dangerous, and there isn’t an excuse for it.
That being said, people make mistakes. Let’s not go out and crucify the man for something many are guilty of and get away with, or didn’t get away with. Its disappointing and the Falcons have voiced their disappointment in Turner’s actions, but that doesn’t change what happens. Turner will face the consequences, but once he has the story should no longer be a factor. Up to this point Turner has been a model citizen, and this is only a hiccup in his Atlanta career.